The 2017 Geneva motor show keeps on delivering the goods. Here’s the surprising (and daftly named) Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e concept, a glimpse at the sort of vehicles the iconic British-German luxury brand wants to offer into next decade.
The slinky convertible concept has been revealed to preview Bentley’s design direction both outside and inside the cabin, and to state its desire to be a global leader in luxury electric vehicles as we prepare to enter a new era in propulsion.
Bentley says its future vision is to offer rapid inductive (wireless) charging and on-board concierge services, as befits its brand.
It also says it will not wade into full EV cars until the range is sufficient for “grand touring requirements”.
“An electric Bentley would, for example, be able to drive between London and Paris or Milan and Monaco on a single charge,” the company said, clearly showing that it knows its target customers well.
For now, the 2018 Bentayga plug-in hybrid will lead the brand’s green charge — sorry for the pun.
In terms of exterior design, the EXP 12 Speed 6e concept follows the themes of 2015's EXP 10 Speed 6 coupe concept, shown as a more compact and low-slung take on the usual 'big Bentley' look.
The 6e gets a mesh grille with complex 3D geometry, and a smoked finish with copper highlights. When the car is running, the ‘6e’ logo illuminates in white.
The muscular and athletic lines, which are said to take inspiration from aircraft fuselages, are an evolution of familiar Bentley traits, but made sportier and more muscular.
The concept has rear cameras rather than side mirrors, and a charging point behind the rear number plate, for when an inductive charging pad isn’t on hand.
Inside the cabin there is a centre console hewn from a solid piece of curved glass with a high-definition OLED screen, to show principal on-board controls such as navigation, climate and infotainment. And look at those seats...
There are also hand made glass sections on the steering wheel with various controls, plus two buttons at the top of the cut-away steering wheel, one that offers an “instant performance boost” in true surging Bentley style, and one that activates the speed limiter.
The passenger has their own control panel on the fascia with access to social media and entertainment, for when the driver’s conversation (presumably about the stock market or the price of furs) is too boring. Ahem.